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This week on the cycle finale of America’s Next Top Model, three are eliminated and a winner is crowned!
“What are we supposed to do with this stuff?”
“Eat it, I think.”
We begin by checking in with each finalist’s emotional state. Old Lady (Krista) is quietly excited about her impressive three-weeks-in-a-row best picture win last week, but knows she still has to keep working in order to win. Fatty (Alexandra) is a bit stressed out, reminding us that she’s never won best picture, but consoling herself in the fact that she has a “kick ass personality.” Unless she means a personality that makes me want to kick her ass, I have no idea what the hell she’s talking about. The girl is bland at best, and bitchy at worst. Raina (Eyebrows) is back to being super annoying, constantly screaming “Final foooooooour!” and acting like a giddy child, unaware or unconcerned that the general mood is one of tension, not celebration. Hood Rat (Angelea) is predictably pissed off that Old Lady won again, but displays it by merely pouting and not starting shit, which is a relief. She thinks that America is ready to learn how to butcher the English language from a top model like her.
Before we go any further, let’s discuss our final four. If I got to pick, I’d pick Hood Rat to win. The girl has some serious personality issues, but she booked 6 out of 6 go-sees. That’s incredible and shows that she has the best chance of making it in the industry. However, I don’t think she will actually win because Tyra and CoverGirl wouldn’t allow it. I know Eyebrows looks the most like a model in the face, but her weird-ass body is a major problem. If you recall, she did not do well on the g0-sees at all. Old Lady I guess is the compromise between those two — she’s more likable than Hood Rat, and she did better than Eyebrows at the go-sees. I still think she looks old and that her age will severely impact her career within a few short years, if it doesn’t already, but Tyra surprisingly hasn’t made that an issue. That silence from Tyra suggests to me that Old Lady is getting a winner’s edit, because we know that Tyra is usually all OVER the age shit. As for Fat— hahahahaha, no way in hell.
Andre arrives at the house to talk to the girls about the industry. After Fatty ignores his suggestion that she could go make a sandwich, he lets her join the conversation, too. He gives them whirlwind tips about the customs of designers in various cultures, which might have been helpful if he hadn’t vomited out so much information at once, without letting the girls even take notes. I would say that I look forward to one of these girls saying “konnichi wa” to Karl Lagerfeld, but they’re about as likely to meet Karl as I am to fulfill my dream of banging Eminem. At the end of this talk, Old Lady (and to a lesser extent, Hood Rat) utilizes her decades of experience and wisely peppers Andre with flattering, awed questions about his background. I don’t really give a shit about his answers, so I’m not going to recap them, but I think that it was a smart move by Old Lady, to help endear her more to a judge.
“Why, yes, Old Lady, this is saber tooth tiger claw around my neck. You may recall when those beasts roamed freely. Complete dreckitude. (Pssst… am I making this word happen yet?)”
“Are you serious? Not even a little.”
Tyra Mail arrives, directing the girls to pack overnight bags. They board a plane to Queenstown, New Zealand, with Mr. Jay and once they’re up in the air, Miss J appears and announces that they’re doing a runway challenge down the aisle, where each girl has to show personality. God, I hope these poor normal people on the flight knew about this and/or are getting paid. I would need to request at least 5 of those little vodka bottles. I also hope Fatty can walk down the aisle without having to turn sideways. The winner of the challenge will walk in NZ fashion week and get $2,000 worth of ugly jewelry. Before they begin, Fatty asks if she can grease the outside of her thighs a slice of pizza and put on her high heels, both of which can be currently found in her purse. The Js agree to the heels, to the dismay of Hood Rat, who can only find one heel in her carry on. She used to other to take some dumb bitch out at the airport.
Fatty is first, and Miss J finds her walk to be a bit stiff although she tried to show some personality by stealing someone’s sunglasses. Where’s an air marshall with a taser when you need one? There’s a bizarre moment where her hair completely changes — she walks with a ponytail, but when she sits down, her hair is loose. The shot then cuts to the Js for a second, and when it comes back, her hair’s in the ponytail again. WTF? Did they make her do it twice? They must have agreed to let her use that pizza trick the second time after it took a few stewardesses to unwedge her from between rows 14 and 15.
Old Lady is next, and the Js give her a push when she pauses to adjust her clothes at the beginning. When she protests, they remind her that in a fashion show she wouldn’t have time to adjust, and then tell her to stop bitching and move her ass. They seem to like her walk overall. Hood Rat only has the one heel, so she hobbles down the runway, and reverts back to her “club walk” from panel, waving weirdly at people and turning like a drunk in a bathroom trying to find the toilet, gripping the backs of seats for balance. Not like I would know anything about that. As for Eyebrows, she tries a turn midway down the aisle that Miss J dismisses as totally 1982, and is otherwise completely boring and ungraceful, even prompting a “linebacker” comment. Ouch.
<Sniff> “Why do my hands smell like poo? Aggh! Focus! Final Fooooooooour!”
Afterwards, Mr. Jay tells Fatty that her walk was too jilted, Eyebrows lacked grace, Hood Rat didn’t take it seriously, and Old Lady was the best but does need to work on taking longer steps. Old Lady of course wins, and Fatty is so upset that the zits all over face stand out more than usual.
They arrive at their photoshoot, where Mr. Jay announces that two of the four of them will be eliminated after this shoot. I’m assuming that Fatty is out and Old Lady is in, so this is likely going to come down between Hood Rat and Eyebrows. The premise of the shoot is “ugly/pretty”, with the background being the pretty and the girls being the ugly. They will have to push through intense hair, makeup and wardrobe that makes them look like they stumbled off the set of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” in order to get a good shot.
Old Lady is up first, and she does well as usual. Nothing else to really say about that. Fatty is next, and she begins the shoot by being too soft and pretty, rather than the ugly, flesh-eating look Mr. Jay wants. She readjusts, and Mr. Jay says she totally got a great shot. I’ll believe it when I see it. As for Eyebrows, she shows up to set looking very manly, and tries to step out of the box as Jay puts it and show some different poses and range than she has before. While Jay isn’t gushing about her performance, it appeared pretty solid. Finally, Hood Rat seems to struggle the most. making a series of blank faces and getting annoyed with Mr. Jay as he calls out repeated instructions/criticisms. Rather than channeling her annoyance into her expression and potentially getting the look Mr. Jay wanted, Hood Rat just seethes blankly. Ruh roh…
“Dat dumb bitch Jay… I bes smotherin’ him wit ma ‘fro, damn!”
Back at the house, Old Lady opens the jewelry she won, while Eyebrows repeatedly — and obviously — points out that Old Lady received several duplicate pieces. Seriously, Eyebrows, just ASK for the ugly necklace rather than passive aggressively pointing out three times in a row that Old Lady has two of them. I sure as hell would respect you more. In the confessional, Eyebrows then complains to us that Old Lady is selfish and does not care about anyone else. It’s her prize, you dumbass! Cuz I’m so sure YOU would be giving away all your prizes if you had won.
Tyra Mail announces that it’s time for panel and off they go. Mr. Jay has joined them as a judge for this panel, and I wish he was there full-time because he’s likable and knows what the hell he’s talking about. Alas, that wouldn’t work for this show, now would it? Eyebrows is up first, and the Andre loves it. Mr. Jay discusses the problems they had during the shoot, and Tyra thinks that Eyebrows ultimately struggled to break out of the “pretty box” and embrace the ugly-pretty concept. I think it’s okay, but I really don’t like the way her left hand is dangling down there like a dead fish.
“Oh my goodness! I have to be all serious! Did I mention we’re in the FINAL FOOOOOOOUR?! TEE HEE!!!!!!!”
Hood Rat is next, and the judges gush over the dress she’s wearing at panel. She does look great. Turning to her photo, Mr. Jay says that she was the most confused by the shoot’s concept, and that he doesn’t really like the picture. Neither do I. It looks like her corset’s too tight and she’s taking a moment to catch her breath. Andre and Tyra give surprisingly positive feedback, but by this point Hood Rat is already looking defeated and displaying that unattractive self-pitying side that the judges have warned her about before. Nigel notices that and tells her that she is not inspiring him in the slightest as she stands there, and Jay tells her to get her confidence back.
“Oooh, dis coresett iz tighter dan my cooch after Iz be doing ma kegels! Shit!”
The judges also love the way Old Lady looks at panel, as she’s slicked back her grays in a ponytail and is nicely displaying her bone structure. Tyra loves her picture, commenting that it’s androgynous, which is what makes it ugly-pretty. Andre is nearly moved to tears, gushing that the photo is incredible, and even Mr. Jay joins in, telling her that she best embodied the premise of the shoot. Frankly, I think they would crown her the winner right here if they could. As for me, I think the photo is good, and the best of the three so far, but I’m not going to prostrate myself at the altar of Old Lady like Andre.
“I’m just leaning against theis tree, waiting for them to fix my walker. One of the tennis balls fell off.”
Fatty shows up for panel wearing flats and a really unflattering pair of tight short-shorts. Nigel thinks the photo is interesting but looks like a film still, rather than a fashion shot. The other judges all seem to lukewarmly like the picture, but no one is really passionate one way or the other. I agree with Nigel on this one. There’s something about this picture that makes me really study it, but it does not look like a model or fashion picture to me at all.
“Unless you have a food offering, don’t get any closer.”
Deliberations. Eyebrows is undeniably pretty, but might not be versatile enough or passionate enough. Old Lady is extraordinary but sometimes forgets her facial expressions. Fatty’s proportions are awesome and she knows how to work her body, but she has no personality. Hood Rat needs more experience and might not have the confidence or perseverance to really make it in the industry without someone leading the way. Based on that, I think Old Lady (obviously) and Eyebrows will be the final two…
Let’s find out, shall we? Old Lady is called first, surprising no one. Turning to the other three, Tyra says that Fatty’s body and face are great, but her photos are inconsistent. Eyebrows has an amazing face but falls flat in shoots she doesn’t like. Hood Rat is edgy but can’t take critique well at all. And moving on is… Eyebrows. Meh. Fatty and Hood Rat both leave with a few tears but with class, and good for them. I will miss Hood Rat, and I think that if she can learn to take critique better, she will be successful, so best of luck to her. As for Fatty, have a cheeseburger on me, babe.
And now we’re in hour two of this finale. God help me. Old Lady and Eyebrows are both super excited to be in the final two, and babble about why they want to be the winner. Well, Old Lady babbles and Eyebrows continues to shriek and jump around like an idiot. This girl drives me insane. Each second that Old Lady manages to refrain from punching her makes me admire Old Lady more. Tyra Mail arrives and tells them to pack an overnight bag. They take a helicopter to a hotel, where Miss J meets them to announce that they will be shooting their CoverGirl commercial (finally!) in the morning. He gives them their scripts, and Eyebrows continues her annoying behavior by announcing that she’s already memorized this and that, and reciting her lines to prove it to Old Lady. STFU!
The next morning, Mr. Jay arrives with Bloody Eye Nicole, the winner of last season’s midget cycle. As we saw during the CoverGirl subway shoot, the girl looks incredible. Eyebrows is up first for her still CoverGirl picture, and she looks great herself, although we don’t really see much of the shoot. Meanwhile, Old Lady has to shoot her commercial. She tells us that she’s memorized the script and really wants to do well. And she… does not. Old Lady’s Alzheimer’s kicks in, and she can’t remember a single word. Mr. Jay offers cue cards, and she adamantly refuses at first but then finally accepts them when she realizes that she’s completely screwed. To her credit, she maintains her composure and doesn’t start sobbing like most girls do at this point. Using the cue cards, she delivers the lines well and comes off as very likable, although the girls watching the commercial are sure to wonder why their grandmother is selling them makeup.
BEN: No, look, it’s this one, see?
Old Lady: I don’t wanna look.
BEN: Oh, come on…
Old Lady then does her still photograph, and I’m very surprised by how good she looks when she smiles. Has she ever smiled before in a photo? Meanwhile, Eyebrows is shooting her commercial, oozing confidence and bragging to us that she knows all her lines and what she’s going to do, blah blah blah. That can only mean she’s going to suck, right? And suck she does! Her voice immediately goes a few octaves higher, definitely venturing into fake territory, and her attempts to choreograph some facial expressions and body language to match her words come off cheesy and ridiculous. She’s also been styled poorly for the commercial, with her hair looking quite messy, and the outfit not very flattering, but that one at least is not her fault. Overall, their commercials are probably about the same quality, given that Old Lady had to go to cue cards and Eyebrows didn’t.
The girls then briefly head over for their Seventeen covershoot. Nigel shoots the pictures and tells us that both girls did well, and he barely noticed that Old Lady belongs more on the cover of 1700 magazine than 17 magazine. Arriving back at their house, Eyebrows and Old Lady find Tyra, who announces that she will be taking pictures of each of the two finalists with their families, which are also there at the house. Okay? Seems a bit random to me. STOP STALLING. Turns out the purpose of this stupid section is to pimp Tyra’s website, which really shouldn’t surprise me.
We now know who’s been eating all the food that Old Lady has not been…
With those shenanigans over with, we return to the competition as the girls go meet Mr. Jay and learn that BEN will be leading the fashion show and that the last four eliminated contestants — Alasia, Jessica, Fatty and Hood Rat — will also be walking. YES, another chance for Fatty to fall off a runway! As the girls go into hair and makeup, Hood Rat tells us that she’s on Team Old Lady and Jessica pauses humping a chair long enough to declare that she’s on Team Eyebrows. I’m on Team Old Lady simply because I think that Old Lady, despite her age, has a better shot of making it in the real modeling world due to Eyebrows’ weird body and iffy walk. Also, I find Eyebrows totally annoying
Now, often this final runway has a lot of stupid gimmicks, like hills they have to climb or fake rain or a bizarre premise (remember Caridee acting like a fucking lunatic during her ghost brides runway? Hahaha, that shit still cracks me up and I still think Melrose was ROBBED). However, this one’s pretty tame as the only unusual aspect is the girls are supposed to smile and be cute/flirty, rather than stomp down the runway like angry coat hangers. Eyebrows is confident that this favors her style, and I hope she’s as wrong as she was about the CoverGirl commercial.
BEN starts the show, looking adorable, followed soon by Hood Rat who does a little bit of the club walk but thankfully keeps it mostly in check. Old Lady is the first of the two finalists to walk, and she smiles but doesn’t do much else that fits the cute/flirty premise. However, her walk is strong from a traditional viewpoint. Jessica looks sweet and innocent (if they only knew), and then it’s Eyebrows’ turn. She sticks a wide smile on her face, but I think her walk is too slow, more like she’s strolling the halls at school than walking a runway. At the end, she kicks up her leg somewhat cutely, but overall I felt that it fell flat. Alasia and Fatty take their turns, both doing better than I think Eyebrows did.
“Forget $5 footlongs. I ate a submarine sandwich THIS big when I was eliminated!”
The second pass down the runway has the girls walking in pairs. BEN amusingly looks weirded out when her partner puts her arm around her, which BEN awkwardly reciprocates after a long delayed reaction. Haha. Fatty and Alasia look cute, and Jessica and Hood Rat do a really fun little hip bump at the end of their walk. Eyebrows and Old Lady have to walk together, and they both are a bit meh on this pass, as Eyebrows has slowed Old Lady’s pacing down and neither one really wants to touch or be playful with the other. There is no third pass, so that’s it. I think Old Lady edged Eyebrows out, but the judges often say the opposite of what I think, so we’ll see.
Afterwards, Tyra meets with each girl for some extra camera time to force each girl to reveal her insecurities so Tyra can play her crackerjack therapist role. Agggh you’re stalling again! Old Lady wants to be an inspiration to dark skinned girls, and Eyebrows wants to be an inspiration to ugly girls. Blah blah blah. All you’re doing is inspiring me to fast forward.
Time for the final panel, finally! Miss J is there for the final decision. Tyra’s catsuit looks even more ridiculous than normal, with a panel in the front that’s reaching up towards her face as if conceal her identity so she can hide her shame for wearing such a horrible outfit. Speaking of bad clothes, Eyebrows is also wearing something unflattering and bizarre — a cross between a stormtrooper outfit and an ostrich costume. Not. Cute.
The judges start with Old Lady’s runway performance, and Miss J, who is wearing the rest of Eyebrows’s ostrich costume as a hat, says that she had a hard edge and continues to take small steps. Andre loved her, and thought she came off bouncy but genuine. Tyra also thought she bought a lot of energy and pep, but needed to tone down the cheese factor at a few points. As for Eyebrows, Miss J thinks that she was too heavy footed, although she had a nice smile. Andre agrees, but Tyra thought that she walked like a real model and looked great. Although they don’t declare a “winner” of the runway, I think the comments favored Old Lady slightly. The “nice smile” comment they gave Eyebrows felt like a “must say something positive” comment to me.
Turning to the CoverGirl pictures, they consider Eyebrows’ first. Nigel says that it’s beautiful, gentle and feminine. Andre found it fresh, but didn’t think it had much excitement. I really like it. I think she looks super pretty but approachable and real, especially if I was the young teenage girl whom I feel CoverGirl targets with these kinds of ads.
Old Lady’s picture is one of her with a serious expression, which is a bit odd for CoverGirl. Miss J thinks that it’s in-your-face-beauty but needed a little something more, and while Tyra finds it stunning, she says that there’s no sparkle in her eye that connects the viewer with the picture. I agree. The picture really falls flat for me — she almost looks dead. I’m very disappointed in it, actually. Advantage Eyebrows on this one.
Last but not least, the judges consider the commercials. We see the “finished product” and I notice that Old Lady has about three lines to Eyebrows’ every one line. I think that Old Lady’s delivery is superior, as long as you don’t penalize her for the cue cards. The judges say that Eyebrows’ delivery was clear and pleasant sounding, but she seemed to be reading off cue cards (haha, that’s ironic) and didn’t connect with the viewer. They tell Old Lady that she needed to memorize her lines better, but really don’t further comment on how she sounded. Nigel does point out though that Old Lady looked fantastic. Unfortunately we don’t see the best take for each girl, which I usually enjoy laughing at. Given the comments to Eyebrows about not connecting with the viewer, I’d say advantage Old Lady.
Deliberations. Nigel thinks that Old Lady is a better model with the whole body, but Eyebrows has an amazing face. Andre thinks that Eyebrows would be successful in the English market, but that Old Lady would be a better international model. Miss J says that Eyebrows would be better in pictures and Old Lady would be better in shows. So who wins? I think it has to be Old Lady based on not only this episode, but the last 4, 5 weeks as well.
And the winner is… Old Lady! Sunshiney Eyebrows takes the loss with a big smile, and graciously congratulates Old Lady several times before leaving. As annoying as that girl can be, her face is totally a modeling face and she can probably do quite well if she wants it. Although I would recommend a few trips to the gym in the meantime…
So what did you think? Are you surprised that Old Lady won, or were you pretty sure like I was that she was going to win? Are you happy she won, or would you have picked Eyebrows or even Hood Rat or Fatty? Thank you all for reading and enjoying/suffering this show with me. See you next cycle!